The Guardian • Issue #2095

Fascism in Ukraine

Photo: Ivan Samkov/ (CC)

Fascism, accurately called “the last resort of capitalism in decline,” is being actively fostered in various countries around the world. Even more countries are putting in place laws that deny basic democratic rights while maintaining a façade of bourgeois democracy. This is usually done these days under the cloak of “combating a terrorist threat.” Nowhere has resorting to fascism been more blatant than in Ukraine

The 2014 elections in Ukraine, which returned the pro-NATO and pro-EU government installed by the Maidan coup earlier that year, were conducted in an atmosphere of intimidation and terror. Nearly half the electorate stayed home. To bolster the illusion of inclusive democracy, half a million expats in 73 countries were designated as being eligible to vote. Most didn’t bother to register.

The poll itself was conducted in what Ukrainian Communist leader Peter Simonenko described as a climate of “total intimidation” with the right-wing not only exerting a complete monopoly over the media but also using pro-fascist gangs to physically prevent the left from taking part in the campaign.

Ivan Melnikov, deputy leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) said the election had merely replaced the “orange” coalition with a “brown” one of “Nazi and Russophobic policy makers.” Russian senator Andrey Klishas said: “Ukrainians themselves cannot fail to notice the mass violations of human rights during the latest parliamentary campaign … the ban on free speech, attacks on opposition candidates, mass violence in the form of so-called ‘popular gatherings,’ even lynch mobs on the side of the pro-fascist political forces.”

The clique running the show in Kiev claimed, with no sense of irony, that the election would “usher in a new era of democracy.” They also said the result would mean a “realistic European future” for the country, despite the fact that by severing their economic ties to Russia they have condemned Ukraine to a future of austerity and savage cuts to jobs and social services, like the ones endured by other EU junior partners such as Greece, Spain and Portugal.

Murderous attacks on (and “disappearances” of) progressives in the Russian-speaking east of the country led to the areas now identified as Novorossiya establishing their own self-defence militias and kicking the Kiev regime’s troops out. Kiev then invaded the self-proclaimed people’s republics in the east, killing thousands in aerial and artillery bombardment of housing in towns and villages. Once again, the anti-fascist militia had to defend the region, and drove Kiev’s army out.

They were helped by the enormous number of defections from the Ukrainian army (thousands of deserters sought refuge in Russia).

Ironically, Kiev’s neo-Nazis celebrated their election victory on the 70th anniversary of Ukraine’s liberation by the Soviet forces from Hitlerite occupation.

Victor Shapinov, a founder of the Ukrainian Marxist organisation Union Borotba (Struggle), commented “the forces awakened by Maidan are very destructive and dangerous for all society. We are face-to-face with the fascism of the 21st century. It is not because they have portraits of [wartime Ukrainan Nazi collaborator] Stepan Bandera or because they say ‘Ukraine über alles’ like clones of Nazi Germany.

“The nature of fascism is that this is direct state power of big capital that uses some mass support from the middle class and other groups to destroy any political opposition with violence. This is the essence of fascism.”

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